Creative Leap – The Role of Intuition in Design

Designers have long been perceived as so-called “black boxes.” On one hand, various types of information flowed into their minds, then some mysterious processing took place, and after a while, the result was ready-made solutions. However, no one knew exactly what happened in the so-called meantime.


Intuition in the work of a designer

It is interesting that many designers admit that a significant part of their work is done unconsciously, and intuition is a key element of their activity. In psychological literature, intuition is often equated with “insight,” described as a significant breakthrough in the thought process.

The “Intuitive Leap” in the design process

The term “intuitive leap” often appears in literature on design processes. Herbert Simon, the author of one of the key books on designers’ work and their problem-solving methods, explains this phenomenon as easy to understand. He compares the work of an experienced designer to a chess master, noting that most so-called intuitive leaps are based on recognizing previously learned patterns. We all probably saw the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”; recall the main character playing chess games in her mind.

Read also: Design Mindset and female and male values in business

Factors inspiring the “Intuitive Leap”

The reservoir of professional experiences of designers, the complexity of the challenges they face, and their openness to inspirations, sometimes coming from unexpected sources, contribute to the so-called “intuitive leap” or “creative leap” during their work. These phenomena are often incomprehensible to other participants in the design process. I recall with respect the words of one of the important theorists of design methods, a renowned professor, who said that the period preceding this leap is the most challenging moment for designers – a moment full of doubt, hopelessness, and a sense of helplessness. I recognize this moment well 🙂

Discovering new perspectives

Interestingly, the “intuitive leap” is not a moment when a designer suddenly comes up with a brilliant solution. It is rather a moment when they manage to look at the problem from a new, unexpected perspective. This new understanding of the problem serves as a starting point for creating innovative solutions, leading to breakthroughs and unconventional ideas.

It is worth remembering that in the work of a designer, it is important not to start with specific solution concepts, but from the moment when you manage to look at the problem in a new light.

Check also our post: Building a design team – how to do it effectively?

Oceń post
About the Author
Magda Kochanowska

Podobne wpisy

Design Mindset – Predispositions for Design Work

Design Mindset – Predispositions for Design Work

Contents How designers think and act? The 1979 experiment Research on Design Mindset Key Predispositions of Design Mindset How designers think and act? The 1979 experiment In 1979, an interesting experiment was conducted to understand how designers think and act. Two...

read more
Double Diamond Model – Icon or Cliché?

Double Diamond Model – Icon or Cliché?

It is hard to find a service designer or a Design Thinking practitioner who has not encountered the Double Diamond model, which describes four phases of the design process. For over a decade worldwide, this model has been considered a universal tool for visualizing...

read more
Design Mindset and Gender Values in Business

Design Mindset and Gender Values in Business

In business, one of the challenges is fully understanding the potential of implementing a customer-centric culture, where the cult of expertise and authority dominates. We work as experts in a given field, and years of experience make us believe that we always know...

read more